Whenever I post before and after photos on my Instagram, I get the same comment: “my hair looks like your before photo!”
I want to dig into that for a sec.
In the before photo below, my hair looks quite wavy. You might even say type 2a/2b.
But I want to make something quite clear: I have never, at any point, had wavy hair.
Did I want my hair to naturally look like the photo on the left? Oh hell yes! But it didn’t grow out of my head that way. While yes, I did have heat damage, my curls were dry and at the same time lacked protein, the way I styled my hair was the BIGGEST contributing factor to the way my hair looked.
I would rake mousse in while upright, forcing my hair to be flat on top. I would say things like, “well I just don’t like how it looks when my hair curls from the root” and “curly hair really doesn’t need layers” and “I think my curl pattern has naturally loosened up!” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong again.
Here’s the translation: “I don’t know how to style my hair to be curly from the root. Layers make me nervous because I dont want my curls to ‘spring up.’ Years of heat styling paired with forcing my curls to lay the way I want and starving my hair of protein and moisture have allowed my curls to finally feel tame.”
Although I had damaged my hair somewhat and lacked both protein/moisture, a different styling routine would have gotten me closer to the right photo in *just a single wash.* Don’t believe me? I can prove it!
The Proof: Same Products, Different Technique
A couple of months ago I tried my high school hair products for a YouTube video – Pantene Curls Mousse and Suave Captivating Curls Mousse (contains silicones). I followed my high school styling routine as well, raking the products in while upright andddd…that’s it.
The video was meant to show how a combo of non-CG products + bad technique lead to an unsavory result. Over time, however, I started thinking about the importance of my styling routine and moved away from some of the more strict CG rules – with better technique, could these products give me a good result? I had to know!
The answer? YES.
Once again, I must stress: how you style your hair makes a real difference in how your curls/waves will look. I purposefully styled my hair like the left side for years because I was afraid of volume and shrinkage…but I truly had no idea what I was missing out on.
I also want to call attention to the fact that using a styler I once demonized as “bad” actually lead to a great result. HOWEVER – I should mention that I’m still not a fan of the Suave Mousse. Even though I like my results, I find it very residue-y and not very moisturizing (to me, this product is too heavy on the silicones for my hair, even tho I made sure to use it sparingly this time!). Join me at #unrestrictedcurls on Instagram as I track which products with silicones I do like – so far, I’ve found a cream and a leave-in that are winners!
So take a sec to think about the purpose of your routine. Is it to tame, or to embrace? It took me a long time to realize what I had been doing, so you may not come to this realization today. But the difference is clear – loving my curls was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
*This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means that I may earn advertising/referral commission when you purchase through my link without any extra cost to you. It also helps keep my little site afloat! Thank you for your support.